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UCI gets major funding to study ways of preventing drug-resistant staph infections
Date:10/1/2010

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 1, 2010 A UC Irvine infectious disease specialist has received a three-year, $10 million grant to explore the effectiveness of new methods to prevent staph infections in people who harbor MRSA bacteria when they're discharged from the hospital.

The federal Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality awarded Huang the grant as part of its CHOICE program, which is funded by American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. CHOICE grants will support large projects in comparative effectiveness research to aid decision making in priority areas of clinical care. Selected studies are deemed likely to result in major healthcare advances.

The UCI study, led by Dr. Susan Huang medical director of epidemiology & infection prevention at UC Irvine Medical Center and a UCI Health Policy Research Institute affiliate may provide the first post-discharge preventative treatments for the 1.8 million Americans each year who carry the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

MRSA is highly contagious and resistant to the antibiotics used in ordinary staph infections. Most MRSA cases occur in people who've recently been in the hospital or another healthcare setting, such as a nursing home or dialysis center. About 25 percent of patients with MRSA will develop an infection within a year of discharge. These infections require costly medical attention, including frequent hospital readmission.

"While prior studies have focused on preventing transmission, our effort will fill the large and important gap of how to prevent infection in the growing number of people who already harbor MRSA," Huang said. "Identification of an effective strategy to reduce MRSA infection and hospitalization would be a major advancement in clinical care."

Project CLEAR Changing Lives by Eradicating Antibiotic Resistance involves a randomized trial at hospitals in Orange County and southeast Los Angeles County comparing the eff
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Contact: Tom Vasich
tmvasich@uci.edu
949-824-6455
University of California -- Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

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